EXCLUSIVE: Dallas Glover new WPP Liquid MD
by MarkLives (@marklives) Grey Africa has appointed Dallas Glover as managing director of WPP’s bespoke agency for Distell, Liquid. Glover replaces Mike Middleton, the ex-KFC CMO who joined Liquid as MD in April 2019 and who’s stepping aside to focus on his future studies thesis in the coming months before deciding on his next step.
Liquid manages marketing and communications for Savanna, Amarula, Hunters, Bain’s, Scottish Leader, Edge and Viceroy.
“We are thrilled and honoured that Dallas will be returning to Grey to head up the Liquid team,” says Paul Jackson, Grey Africa/Liquid CEO. “He is exceptionally talented and his management and strategic experience in the alcohol industry will bring enormous value to our client, Distell, as he helps them realise their ambition for global and African expansion.”
Glover joins from McCann Worldgroup, where he led its strategic offering across sub-Saharan Africa. He was also MD of Grey South Africa before founding his strategic consultancy, The Strategy Department. He helped with moving Amstel from SAB back into the Heineken portfolio and worked with the Captain Morgan team, as well as on Tanqueray for Brandhouse and later Diageo (Johnnie Walker, J&B, Bells, Singleton, Cardhu and Haig Club Clubman).
Other experience includes the global Heineken portfolio, where he worked on brands such as Mutzig, Primus, Amstel and Heineken, plus Heineken in Amsterdam where he helped to position and launch Amstel Gold across Europe.
This is obviously a tough time to take the lead at any ad agency. How are you planning to steer the agency through the current crisis — both economic and social — created by the coronavirus pandemic?
Dallas Glover: This is obviously a very difficult time to take over leadership within an agency, especially remotely. However, the structure of Team Liquid is designed around a broader leadership team who are well-integrated and are working together in leading the agency during the pandemic and beyond. We have extremely capable people working across the brands on Team Liquid, and my role is to support them vs disrupting current work streams. Servant leadership is very important within an agency and probably even more important during this crisis.
My role and the broader leadership team’s role is not only internal; we are also working with the leadership on the client side to help guide them through the crisis, and beyond. In fact, part of what we are emphasising is the need to think and plan for the future, and not only react to the present. This is an unprecedented time for all and no blueprints exist, and thus as management we are making sure we are present, available, and in continual contact. We also recognise that people need emotional support, and thus we are utilising technology in a way that keeps people social, connected and supported, and ensuring that not only does work not stop but, more importantly, that people are not overloaded and are coping. We are a people-business, and we always put people first, and in a time like this we are trying to do all it takes to keep creativity alive and smiling.
What is your vision for the agency?
DG: I am a firm believer in teams. It is through approaching everything as a single team, which is the foundation of Team Liquid, that we will be able to create seamless solutions for our clients and their brands. We want work that is meaningful and impactful, and we want to ensure our brands and work play a positive role in people’s lives and the business as a whole. We don’t merely want to effect sales; we want to [affect] culture. When I look at what is currently being done with Savanna and the Virtual Comedy Bar, and the Hunter’s Lockdown House parties, we are creating work that has a positive impact on people’s lives and livelihoods, and that is something to be proud of.
What is your key message to staff, clients, shareholders and stakeholders during the current crisis?
DG: In this unprecedented time, we are going to have to approach everything creatively, as creative solutions and approaches are what will pull us through this. Fortunately, that is what we do on a day-to-day basis. This is going to impact everyone, and we are ensuring we support our clients and staff in a very positive manner. People and purpose is where we are focusing, be it our staff or the communication solutions we give to clients; every decision needs to be purposeful and carry purpose. In this time, every person and every brand should be living their purpose.
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